We’ve all heard the news. Amazon is building a second headquarters. The big keeps

getting bigger. The convenience of jumping online, ordering up whatever we want and having it delivered, in some cases, the same day, is something many of us have gotten used

to doing. What did we do before Amazon?
Amazon and all the other e-commerce retailers have their place in the “food chain”, but there are some things that you just have to look at to see the beauty, touch and hold in your hand, taste or smell the fragrance for yourself. I think plants and many garden accessories are some of those things.
I spent 17 years working for a native plant mail order/e-commerce business. One of my goals with my team was to replicate the feeling when the customer was opening their box
of plants, to what they would feel picking up a plant for the first time in a garden center or nursery. There should be joy! Not an easy task when the plant was pruned, covered with wood fiber, shoved in a box and travelled across the country!
I firmly believe that people want to and need to experience plants, not just pick them out of
a catalog or off a web page. The only way to do that is to visit a local garden center or nursery.
Saturday, November 24th is Small Business Saturday. In 2010, it was formed as a day for small businesses to rally their customers and community, encouraging them to “shop small”. Each year, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, small businesses across the nation open their doors with the hope to draw in clientele that maybe haven’t been to their store before, as well as those that are their regular customers.
We are very fortunate to have a long list of very loyal customers. When we say we have a “loyalty program”, that’s not just a marketing gimmick, that’s a group of engaged, dedicated customers who frequent our store.
As the holidays come upon us, we are busy getting evergreens, porch pots, wreaths, Christmas trees and other holiday décor ready for you. We thank you for all your patronage throughout the year and encourage you to stop out and see us on Saturday, November 24, when the rest of the nation, along with us, celebrate being one of the “small guys”. We will have our Porch Pot Party that day, as well as refreshments and giveaways. It will be a fun day to Shop Small!
~Betty

 

Smell that fresh pine!!!

 

The scent of pine is in the air! Our evergreen boughs have arrived. We have cedar, white pine and balsam boughs tied together into three pound, mixed bundles. These can be used for making your own porch pots, door swags, wreaths, centerpieces, window swags, kissing balls, holiday baskets and much more. The opportunities are only limited by your imagination! We also have spruce tops, red-twig dogwood and birch twigs to add the element of height to your porch pots.

New to the porch pot-making craft? Need help with designing your holiday décor? No worries, our talented designers will give you tips and assistance, as much or as little as you need. Colorful picks with whimsical themes, glittered floral elements, tasteful natural botanicals and dozens of berry sprays from which to choose, you are certain to find something that you will love!

If you haven’t signed up yet, we encourage you to register for our Porch Pot Party. We still
have openings November 24th and 25th and December 1st and 2nd . We hope to see you for one of our Porch Pot Parties!

Wondering how to take care of fresh cut winter greens?
You have your porch pot tastefully designed to match the ambiance of your home. The gorgeous Caanan Fir Christmas Tree you picked out is in the tree stand and ready to be covered with your favorite ornaments. Balsam roping adorns the white picket fence in front of your home. An evergreen wreath with a gigantic bow welcomes friends and family into your home for the holidays.
Your home has everything it needs to make the holidays merry and bright. Now you just need to make sure that all the needles don’t fall off that beautiful wreath or the Christmas tree, creating a big mess, disappointment or worse- a fire hazard! Following a few easy steps will help to keep your greens fresh through the holidays.
Evergreens deteriorate more rapidly in warm temperatures and sunlight, so to the best of your ability, keep them cool and out of the sunlight. Placing them away from direct sun and heat will add days to the life of cut evergreens.
Keep the evergreens hydrated. For cut greens that are used in your porch pots, wreaths and roping, mist these every 1-2 days to keep them healthy and green.
Use an anti-desiccant spray like Bonide Wilt-Stop to seal the leaves and bark, helping them retain moisture and reduce flammability. Do not use on Cedar or Juniper. Always read and follow the directions on the label.
When you leave here with your tree, we make a fresh cut for you. When you get home, put the tree in a bucket of warm water, if you are not putting it up right away. Once you put your tree up, keep the stand full of water. The trunk must be at least 2″ into the water, at all times. The addition of Tree Moist or Christmas tree preservative increases moisture retention.
Following these easy steps will help you preserve your festive decorations, for all to enjoy, for the entire holiday season!
When should you take a cookie to the doctor?

When it feels crummy.

Christmas Cactus

Not into the traditional poinsettia for the holidays? Do you need a gift for a holiday party, secret Santa or maybe yourself? Christmas Cactus, or more appropriately, Holiday Cactus, are lovely plants with white, pink, purple or peach flowers.
Caring for Holiday Cacti is relatively easy. They prefer bright light indoors, benefiting from full sunlight in the fall and winter. However, they cannot be in direct sunlight in the summer, as the leaves will become pale yellow.
Water them when the top of the soil becomes dry. Do not let them dry excessively or the unopened buds will drop off. They also do not like to be water-logged, so make sure that they are in a loose, well-draining soil and do not sit in a saucer of water.
Plants should be fertilized monthly during the spring and summer with a general purpose fertilizer. Stop giving them fertilizer in late summer, so that flower buds can develop. If possible, provide supplemental humidity with a room humidifier, placement near a kitchen or bath or by placing plants on pebbles in a tray of water.
Holiday Cacti are a wonderful addition to any home during the holidays. They make great gifts because they are easy to care for and can live for decades. If you need proof, come out and see one we have that’s over 100 years old!

 

We learn from each other…

 

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One of the truly rewarding parts of our jobs here at America’s Best Flowers is the interaction we have with you, our customers. You look to us for plant and gardening information and we are happy to provide that to you every day. Each week I have the privilege of writing this newsletter and receiving feedback from you.
Last week in our “November Calendar”, I wrote, “Make sure all hoses are disconnected from outdoor faucets and drained. Store hoses inside a garage or shed to prevent cracking.” The newsletter had just gone out and the phone rang here. It was Nancy, one of our Loyalty members and “Top 100”. Nancy and her family are here often and I love to converse with them when they are in the garden center.
Nancy informed me that I had left a crucial detail out of those instructions. That detail was to make sure that the water for your outdoor faucets is then turned off inside your house. Once that’s done, drain any remaining water out by opening the faucet again, so any water left in the pipe drains out.
She relayed a story to me about how she knew someone that had several thousand dollars in damage to their home when a water pipe burst because they hadn’t turned their water off inside their home. Of course, I thought this was really sound, wise advice.
I assured Nancy that we would make sure we relayed this to you this week and thanked her for her suggestion. I’m grateful for all the comments we receive and always enjoy when the sharing of knowledge or experiences is a two-way street!
~Betty

Floral Notes
Hosting Thanksgiving or maybe you are going to a Friendsgiving 
feast this year?
 
Why not spice up the table with a floral arrangement! Be the hostess with the mostest or surprise your hostess with one of these festive centerpieces. Give us a call today and have it delivered before Thanksgiving.
 
 *We reserve the right to make substitutions based on product availability.

Employment Opportunities

 

Do you enjoy helping people? How about working with flowers?
If so, we may have the perfect job for you!
Part-time Floral Designer (Edgerton) 
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We’re looking for a Part-time floral designer with strong customer service skills and a willingness to learn. Use your artistic abilities and knowledge of design 
to create floral arrangements for various occasions.

One year previous floral design experience is required; 4 years preferred.

Position includes some customer service, watering and plant maintenance.

 

 

 What do you get when you cross a turkey with an octopus?
Enough drumsticks for Thanksgiving.
 
Create your festive holiday porch pot using fragrant mixed winter greenery. 
Add decorative touches such as pinecones, festive holiday picks, permanent botanical pieces, birch logs and other elements. We have a wide variety of options from which to choose. 
 
A time honored tradition that grows every year, this is a great way to start off the season with family and friends, as you create your very own decorative pot to adorn your front step, patio or anywhere you want to add that touch of holiday charm. The best part is you take home your creation and just leave the mess behind!
 
We have three weekends from which to choose.
Give us a call today to pre-register for this popular event. 
 
 
 

November 17 & 18, 2018
Saturday  9am – 3 pm
Sunday  10 am – 3 pm

 

November 24 & 25, 2018
 
Saturday  9 am – 3 pm
 
Sunday 10 am – 3 pm 
December 1 & 2, 2018
 
Saturday  9 am – 3 pm
 
Sunday  10 am – 3 pm
 
Saturday, December 1, 2018
9 am – 3 pm 
 
Our holiday open house is in conjunction with 
Christmas In The Grove!
 
Bring the whole family to our Holiday Open House.
Time to get festive and wear those jingle bells as you head on over here.
 
Rest assured our greenhouse will be filled with holiday spirit along with all that is merry and bright.
 
Enjoy the fresh scent of pine and take that comfy cozy feeling home with you. Decorate with fresh garland/roping, pine boughs, fresh Christmas trees and, of course, our locally grown Poinsettias! YES, we grew them in our greenhouses, just for you! 

 

 
 
 
Children can experience the magic of Christmas as Santa’s Head Elf stops in from 11-1 and will be here to help them write their letters, read stories and most importantly get their letters to the 
big guy himself!



 
 
Our friendly neighbors from State Farm will stop by and serve up free cookies and hot cocoa! Want to see what Nate and his team are up to? 

 

Just click on the cookies!

 

 
Holiday Decorating & Kissing Ball Make & Take
Saturday, December 8, 2018
10 am – 11 am
COST: $35.00
 
Pre-Pay and Pre-Registration is required
Create an Air Plant Gift
Saturday, December 15, 2018
10 am- 11 am
COST: $20.00
 
Pre-Pay and Pre-Registration is required
 
All classes are only available at our Cottage Grove location.
To reserve your spot please call (608) 222-2269 to register.

 

 Recipe
 
Gingerbread 
Gooey Butter Cookies 
Pure Christmas deliciousness! Melt-in-your-mouth Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies baked from scratch and spiced just right for the Christmas holiday.

Ingredients:

  • 2¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon (about 280 g) pure organic unbleached all-purpose flour, such as Hodgson Mill®
  • 2 teaspoons (about 8 g) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.2 g) baking soda
  • 2½ teaspoons (4.38 g) organic ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) organic ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (1 g) organic ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon (1.25 g) freshly grated organic whole nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon (.55 g) organic ground cloves
  • 1 (8 oz/226 g) package organic cream cheese, such as Organic Valley®, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick/113 g) organic grass-fed unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 g) organic granulated cane sugar
  • ½ cup (100 g) packed organic light or dark brown cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) organic unsulphured molasses, such as Wholesome!™
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) pure almond extract or Fiori di Sicilia extract
  • ½ teaspoon (2.4 g) fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 large organic egg plus 1 large egg yolk (mine weighed 74 g w/o shells)
  • 1½ to 2 cups (180 to 240 g) organic confectioners’ sugar, sifted, for rolling cookies twice before baking
  • Time to head on over to Wicked Good Kitchen for the instructions. YUM!
Recipe and graphics are brought to us by Stacy

 

SEE YOU SOON!!!
America’s Best Flowers, 4311 Vilas Hope Road, Cottage Grove, WI 53527
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